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Days 166-168:

23 Jun

My firsts week off from school hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be.  I don’t know what the deal is lately, but I’ve been all wacky and insomniac-ish.  I have gotten a lot done though!

One of my summer goals is to reboot my etsy site.  I’ve had one for a while, but it hasn’t been active in over a year.  I decided to try again with a new name, new look, and new focus.  It’s still not up and running, but I did manage to make a shop banner that I’m reasonably happy with…

It still needs some tweaking, but I’m happy with the overall feel of this one.  And it went through many incarnations, let me tell you!

I finally got around to painting the cat lady mermaid I drew up a few days ago, too!

I really like the purple/gold combination.  Now, I need to do those backgrounds….

Last, I will leave you with a photo that I took this morning.

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

That just never gets old…

Happy giggles!

 

Days 155 – 158: Of blogs and other things

13 Jun

Blogging is a funny thing.  It’s a lot like keeping a diary, except everyone in the world has the key.  I pour my heart and soul into these pages and give others a glimpse into my quirky little life.  I like having a venue to make my thoughts and beliefs heard.  However, unlike a real diary, I have to be careful with what I post.

Everyone these days is internet crazy.  Between Facebook, Twitter, BBM, and all the other social media out there, words can circulate like wildfire.  All it takes is one picture, one joke, one misstep and your peace can be destroyed.  Take this whole Anthony Weiner thing, for instance…  So the guy sends some nudie pics to women he met online…this is nothing new.  People do this all the time.  They have cyber relationships and sexting and all that fun stuff.  Being a politician doesn’t make it any more wrong than if he was Joe Shmo the office clerk, but it does mean that he’s got more to lose.  And that he’s being watched more closely.  He got caught, and now he’s royally screwed.  His life and career will never be the same, all because he snapped a picture of his junk and put it on the internet.  Serious lack of judgement…

You don’t have to be high profile to have this happen to you either.  I read somewhere that infidelity is on the rise as a result of social media sites.  People think that the computer screen offers them privacy.  They can do things through the screen that they wouldn’t normally do.  However, Big Brother is always watching…

Let’s take my blog for instance…I’ve shared my life and views with you all for over 5 months now.  In that time, I’ve posted about politics, religion, society, relationships, culture, etc. in addition to the art and laughter that is this blog’s focus.  I’ve touched on controversial issues, and I’ve tried really really hard to not dig my own grave.  I won’t lie…I seriously censor my posts.  Each of my more serious entries has gone through several revisions before I deem it safe enough to publish.  It sucks, but it must be done.

I wrote a very long and very eloquent blog post earlier.  I read and reread it, each time coming to the same conclusion…It’s un-postable.  It really sucks, but what can I do.  As passionate as I feel about some issues, it’s best I keep them to myself.

That being said, on to the giggles!

Friday, I made an awesome dinner.  It inspired this giggle…

Yum!

This was a modified Rachel Ray recipe for pineapple hominy stuffed avocados.  I used mango and shrimp instead of the pineapple.  It was deeelicious!

The next giggle is a headband I created.

pretty!

I don’t know what it is about these headbands that I enjoy so much.  I love them!  This will look fabulous with my grey skirt…

The piece de resistance of today’s list of giggles is my new handbag!  A while ago, I posted about my experiments with woodburning.  Did it ever pay off?!

Ta da!

This is my wine box purse!  She’s burned into the front of the box and painted in watercolors.  I glued pearls around the edge and on the face of the box to add a little sparkle.

and the back

I used an embossed paper and ribbon to cover the back and sides of the box.

and the inside

I lined the inside of the box with shell pink paper and fabric and put a little pocket in for lipstick and goodies.  I’m very proud of my new bag!!!!!

Last, but not least, is today’s giggle.  It needs no explanation…

 

Days 95 and 96: In bloom

13 Apr

This time of the year is my absolute favorite.  Spring is everywhere.  While I’m not a huge fan of rain, April showers bring May flowers, and those flowers are already in bloom.

I’ve always been amused by the meanings people bring to certain flowers.  Red roses stand for love.  Daisies mean innocence.  Orchids are exotic beauty.  Who decides this stuff anyway?  I mean really…I’m a big fan of finding symbolism in everyday life, but a rose is a rose is a rose.  It’s no more lovely than many other flowers.  In fact, it has thorns for crying out loud!  Shouldn’t a rose stand for “look, but don’t touch?”

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I tend not to buy into popular thought on these (and most other) matters.  I have my own symbolism that serves me just fine.  To me, roses stand for conformity and unoriginality (is this even a word???).  People give the gift of roses not because they want to, but because they think they have to.  To me, lilies will always stand for death.  Just the smell of lilies is enough to give me funeral flashbacks.  And sunflowers…..well, they have a rather special meaning for me.

Sunflowers are the botanical version of someone I knew long ago.  He was big and goofy, sunny and happy…I loved him more than I can possibly explain.  For this reason, I regularly place sunflowers on his grave.

This coming July is the 10th anniversary of Steve’s death.  This past decade has been hard on me, but I’m making a go of it.  I’ve tried my best to move on and live as he would have wanted me to.  I married a wonderful man who is sympathetic and understanding.  I would, however, be lying if I said I never thought of the past.  I’ve decided to commemorate this morbid anniversary with a sunflower tattoo.

Now, I’ve been messing around with designs for a few years now, but I’ve never come up with something I liked enough to permanently ink on my body.  Yesterday, I drew a design that I’m really truly loving.

Ta da!

It’s been a real challenge for me to draw something that maintains the big goofiness of the sunflower without being horribly clunky and awkward.  I like the femininity of the swirl and leaves balancing the hugeness of the flower.  It needed some refining though…

Today, I brought this baby into Illustrator and messed around for a while.

all cleaned up

So here it is all clean and crisp.  I got rid of the extra doodads and lines.  I think it’s much better simpler.  Time for color…

There he is all colored and pretty.  Obviously, I would want my tattoo to have some gradation instead of the flat colors… What do you think?  I’d love to see/hear what other people have done in the way of memorial tattoos.  Share in comments!

Day 92: Walt Disney I am not…

9 Apr

What a day it has been!  Scott and I were all over the place today.  We started at a craft fair in the park and ended up randomly walking around Queens.  (I ❤ bubble tea!!!!!)

There was this psychic lady at the craft fair doing palm readings for cheap.  Now, I don’t wholly subscribe to that psychic business, but I do believe it keeping my mind open to all possibilities…so I sat down at her table and had her read my palm.  Boy, was that interesting!  She told me all kinds of things about my past, present, and future that were surprisingly accurate and rather scary.  She knew I was creative and work well with children.  She told me exactly how many times I’ve been in love.  She told me about children and career and a change of address in the near future.  It really was fascinating.  Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve read palmistry books before and could never figure them out.  There are just so many variables that it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate reading without years and years of intense practice.  I can’t imagine how that lady found all that info in the palm of my hand, and I know enough to take her predictions with a grain of salt.  Still, it was a fun experience!

After what the psychic told me, I decided to be super creative today.  I tried my hand at animation!  I have decided that while the end results are amusing, the process is just so terribly tedious that I can’t enjoy it too much.  I did get a good giggle in watching it though.  Check it out here:

http://www.miniclip.com/sketch-star/en/animation/8084855/tiger-roar

Let me know if any of you make an animation too!

Day 75: A love affair with cows

23 Mar

I still can’t figure out how to post the song I made yesterday.  It was a nifty little ditty with a folky country sound.  Too bad I can’t share it.  What I can share is the software that made it.  JamStudio.com is probably one of the coolest websites I’ve come across.  I don’t know enough about the mechanics of music to make anything really good, but I thoroughly enjoyed messing around with the program for a while.  Give it a go, and let me know what you think.

Today’s giggle is another internet find (can you tell that I’m short on time this week?).  I think I’ve previously alluded to my love affair with cows.  I collect cow themed items as seen here. I even had kissing cows as my wedding cake topper!  It wasn’t always this way.  There was a time when cows terrified me.  I’m talking about the screaming and crying child kind of scared.  I think it had to do with their size and vacant expression.  As a child, my family spent a lot of time in Amish country, and the cows just freaked me out.  My family liked to poke fun at this irrational fear and buy me all kinds of cow paraphernalia. And so, the collection began.

When I came across funfotobox.com, I was less than impressed with their selection of  fun photo options…that is, until I came across these cows…

Odd isn’t it?  I don’t quite get the point behind the image.  Is it supposed to be funny?  I don’t know, but I’m amused by cows saying they love me!!!

Day 53: Superhero!

1 Mar

I had so much fun making my mangatar yesterday that I had to experiment with more avatar maker sites.  Today I made my own superhero!

Age: 43 eons

Superpowers: Mind-eating, metal dissolving sweat, champion canasta player

Likes: Cats of all sizes, spelunking, discussing theology

Dislikes: Technology, infomercials, cuddling

Make your own here.

 

 

Day 52: Avatar + Manga = Mangatar!

28 Feb

I have a high level of respect for Japanese animation and manga.  As a kid (okay…teen) I used to get up extra early to watch reruns of Sailor Moon before school.  I’ve recently gotten into Hayao Miyazaki’s movies.  There’s just something about the animation style with the big expressive eyes that has always interested me.

Today I created my own mangatar.  It’s basically a little avatar me done in manga style.

Pretty!

Teehee!  Scott thinks it really looks like me only younger.  Make your own at faceyourmanga.com.

Day 49: Movie Menu

25 Feb

Oscar night is a big deal in my house.  Scott is a crazy movie buff and always wants to celebrate the evening.  Personally, I don’t care for award shows.  However, I love a good dinner party!

Now remember that my place is small.  I certainly can’t host big elaborate dinner parties for dozens of people.  Someday…::sigh::.  In the meantime, I have to limit my guest list to a small group for the big event.  As per tradition, my friends Kim and Greg will join us for a little Academy Award celebration.  Evening wear is optional.

I decided to be super cheesy this year and pull the menu from the Best Picture nominees.  See what I came up with?

Not all of the recipes are my own.  I spent hours searching the internet for inspiration.  I’ll link to my recommended recipes after I try them.  There’s no use in linking to something yucky is there?  Yum yum yum!

Oh, and my vote is for The King’s Speech.

Day 35: Indulgence is an okay thing

11 Feb

It’s been a long long long week for me.  I feel like I’ve been all over the place, and I just haven’t had the time or energy to do anything for myself.  So for today’s giggle, I decided to allow myself to indulge.  People think “indulge” is such a bad word these days.  Every piece of chocolate, every dollar, every minute has to be accounted for somehow, or there’s Hell to pay.  Forget that!  Every once in a while, indulgence is fine, even necessary, to stay sane and enjoy life.  Today’s indulgence/giggle: a manicure!!

Now this may not seem too extreme to most of you.  Manicures have become pretty mundane things in American culture.  Most women I know (and some men) have a regular nail salon they go to weekly for fill ins and polish changes and such.  A manicure for them is just routine…like brushing your teeth or getting a haircut.  Not so for me.  I’m an art teacher remember?  I spend the majority of my workday elbow deep in paint, clay, paper mache, you name it.  All I have to do is think about work and the nail polish practically jumps off my nails in fear.  My hands are like war zones, all covered in scrapes and bruises from who knows what.  As a result of all this, manicures are a thing of the past.  They’re just not practical, so I don’t get them.

Today, however, I threw caution to the wind and got a little pampered.  I chose a sparkly red polish for Valentine’s Day, and enjoyed every minute of the filing, painting, drying, and most of all, that great little shoulder massage they give you when you’re done.  Ah bliss!

I took a pic of my pretty digits and funked it up a bit.  Check it out…

Almost abstract, and I bumped up the colors.  My nails, however, really are that red!

Day 29: Craftsmanship Counts!

5 Feb

Today was a bit of a whirlwind.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t make any new giggles today.  Instead, I tweaked a few of the old ones to make them ready to mail.

Remember Giggle Book? I got so many great responses from people suggesting I get it published.  I sent an inquiry letter out and THEY WANT TO SEE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This meant I needed to make a 2nd copy and spiffy it up a bit.

ooooooh......purdy!

Now, the sewn binding I did on the original was all fine and good for me, but it’s a bit too messy to send to a publisher.  Instead, I wrapped the edge with some green cardstock and fastened it with brads.  I think it looks much cleaner this way.

The other thing I did to Giggle Book is add a few words to the first page.  I know I said a book doesn’t need words, but some people thought it was lacking a little something so…here’s my page 1 and my shot at little kid oriented poetry:

not exactly Byron but....passable?

So there it is ready to mail away.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.  I would soooo love to be published, but I’m trying really hard not to count my chickens before they’ve hatched.

Speaking of chickens…

I finally got my swap-mates today, which meant I had to produce 2 more copies of my Peep Show.  Making more of these also gave me a chance to revamp them a bit.  Let’s be honest…my first copy was a bit on the sloppy side.

Here’s the finished book…

much better!

The pages themselves stayed the same, but I colored them a bit differently and reinforced the structure as a whole.  I did get a bit worried that my swap-mates wouldn’t know what to do with it though…

all dolled up

So I added an instructional tag.  I think it looks so pretty all beribboned.  I even wrote little notes on the back cover, but those are for the recipients only.  Now I need to figure out how to mail something this bulky…hmm.